By Brandon Gertz, MEM ‘21
Nicholas School Communications Student Assistant

DURHAM, N.C.—New friendships were forged on Friday night as Nicholas School students converged on the court for a community-building basketball game.

The Flat-Earth All Stars Basketball Game helped build connections between the first- and second-year Master of Environmental Management classes, who made up the two teams in the game. Doctoral and Master of Forestry students also joined in, playing on the second years’ squad.

“This game is a really fun opportunity to get to know each other through friendly competition,” said Quentin Cui, a second-year MEM student who organized the game.

“Building friendships between Nic School students of all levels and from every background is important, and bringing everyone together for a basketball game is one of the most fun ways to do it.”

First-year MEM student Zhenchen Li agreed on the game’s value.

“At first, our team wasn’t interacting that much” he said. “But through all of the passing and scoring we really started to open up. I definitely feel like I know them better now.”

The first years won 55-25.

The game was sponsored by the Nicholas School’s Global Connections Initiative, which seeks to strengthen the bonds between domestic and international communities.

The initiative holds events throughout the school year. Recent examples include a mid-autumn festival celebration held in September and the upcoming Great Pumpkin Carve on Halloween. Students, faculty and staff interested in participating in future Global Connections events should keep an eye out for email announcements.